Learn Yoga: Seated Forward Bend

March 1, 2012

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend

Seated Forward Bend (Paschimottanasana ) Benefits:
-Calms the brain and helps relieve stress and mild depression
-Stretches the spine, shoulders, hamstrings
-Stimulates the liver, kidneys, ovaries, and uterus
-Improves digestion
-Helps relieve the symptoms of menopause and menstrual discomfort
-Soothes headache and anxiety and reduces fatigue
-Therapeutic for high blood pressure, infertility, insomnia, and sinusitis
-Traditional texts say that Paschimottanasana increases appetite, reduces obesity, and cures diseases

Beginner’s Tip:
Never force yourself into a forward bend, especially when sitting on the floor. Coming forward, as soon as you feel the space between your pubis and navel shortening, stop, lift up slightly, and lengthen again. Often, because of tightness in the backs of the legs, a beginner’s forward bend doesn’t go very far forward and might look more like sitting up straight.

Step by Step  Recomendations from Yoga Journal:

1. Stand in Tadasana, hands on hips. Exhale and bend forward from the hip joints, not from the waist. As you descend draw the front torso out of the groins and open the space between the pubis and top sternum. As in all the forward bends, the emphasis is on lengthening the front torso as you move more fully into the position.

2. If possible, with your knees straight, bring your palms or finger tips to the floor slightly in front of or beside your feet, or bring your palms to the backs of your ankles. If this isn’t possible, cross your forearms and hold your elbows. Press the heels firmly into the floor and lift the sitting bones toward the ceiling. Turn the top thighs slightly inward.

3. With each inhalation in the pose, lift and lengthen the front torso just slightly; with each exhalation release a little more fully into the forward bend. In this way the torso oscillates almost imperceptibly with the breath. Let your head hang from the root of the neck, which is deep in the upper back, between the shoulder blades.

4. Uttanasana can be used as a resting position between the standing poses. Stay in the pose for 30 seconds to 1 minute. It can also be practiced as a pose in itself.

5. Don’t roll the spine to come up. Instead bring your hands back onto your hips and reaffirm the length of the front torso. Then press your tailbone down and into the pelvis and come up on an inhalation with a long front torso.

Hope all this information will be helpfull.

-Irina

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